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Takeaways from the first presidential debate

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Presidential debate
Presidential debate

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off Monday for the first of three presidential debates.

HEMPSTEAD, New York (Diya TV) — Hillary Clinton stepped out onto Monday night’s debate stage determined to show the American people she is the only candidate capable of sitting in the Oval Office.

Clinton poked, prodded and quoted Trump’s own words, goading the famously thin-skinned Republican nominee. Trump took the bait, repeatedly interrupting angrily or dismissively throughout the night.

True to his previous form, Trump couldn’t resist the attack, even when it was obvious they would backfire — such as his criticism of Clinton for dropping off the campaign trail ahead of the debate to prepare. “Yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for?” Clinton shot back. “I prepared to be president.”

Here are a few other takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates between the two:

Trump takes bait

Trump is the self-proclaimed counterpuncher, but it was Clinton whose restraint was on display: She waited for Trump to create an opening before she pounced.

Clinton watched as moderator Lester Holt grilled the billionaire real estate mogul about his refusal to release tax returns before delivering her own withering assessment of his insistence that a “routine audit” be completed first.

“Maybe he is not as rich as he says he is,” Clinton said. “Maybe he is not as charitable as he claims to be… Maybe he doesn’t want the American people to know that he has paid nothing in federal taxes.”

“There is something he is hiding,” she said.

Trump couldn’t hold his tongue any longer — and at a cost. He came close to admitting that he didn’t pay federal taxes, saying that “makes me smart” and that the money “would be squandered” anyway.

At another point, he insisted his refusal to pay contractors who’d done work for his businesses was smart. “I’m certainly relieved that my late father never did business with you,” Clinton said.

Trump, meanwhile, paid the price for his decision to wing it.

Despite opportunities to do so, he never hit Clinton on the 2012 Benghazi attacks or Clinton Foundation donors’ access to the State Department, and he only briefly mentioned her use of a private email server. All three attacks — elevated by Trump himself at his rallies — are at the core of the GOP case that Clinton is untrustworthy.

Trump’s pitch to blue-collar workers

Trump’s best and brightest were showcased early in the debate, when he invoked Clinton’s 2012 praise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership as the “gold standard” of trade deals. (Clinton now opposes the deal.)

“You were totally in favor of it,” Trump said. “Then you heard what I was saying, how bad it is, and you said, ‘I can’t win that debate.'”

It was part of a theme Trump attempted to make a heavy element of the debate early on: Clinton, he said, has been in Washington for nearly 30 years, and has done little to improve economic conditions for Americans — a message that could resonate in manufacturing-heavy states like Ohio and Pennsylvania that are crucial to Trump’s electoral math.

After a barrage of Trump attacks, Clinton sarcastically said, “I have a feeling that by, the end of this evening, I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened.”

Trump shot back: “Why not?”

Trump’s dance with the truth continued

Trump lied repeatedly Monday night — including a few real extreme occasions.

When Clinton claimed Trump “thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” Trump shot back: “I do not say that. I do not say that.”

Trump did say that. On November 6, 2012, Trump tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” It became the most-retweeted item on Twitter during the debate.

He called Holt’s factual citation of a 2002 interview in which Trump endorsed the war in Iraq “wrong, wrong, wrong,” as fact-checkers disagreed.

He falsely blamed Clinton for birtherism. He said murder rates in New York City are climbing, when they are on the decline. And he said Clinton had been fighting ISIS “her entire adult life.” Clinton was born in 1947; ISIS only formed in the mid-2000s.

They really don’t like each other

With two more debates in front of us, there’s only one thing that can be predicted: things are about to get a lot more ugly.

A preview of what’s in store came at the end, when Clinton — attacking Trump’s treatment of women — called him “a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs.” She said he’d referred to a Latina beauty contestant as “Miss Piggy. Then he called her Miss Housekeeping.”

An agitated Trump twice asked, “Where did you find this?”

The woman, 1996 Miss Universe Alicia Machado of Venezuela, told The New York Times and “Inside Edition” this year that Trump repeatedly mocked her weight.

Trump went into the spin room after the debate — a move unheard of at general election debates — and credited himself with not taking a shot at Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs. He told Fox News conservative host and Trump supporter Sean Hannity afterward that it seemed inappropriate with Bill and Chelsea Clinton in the front row — but implied he might in the future.

The next debate between the two will be held on Oct. 9.

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Indian American news anchor Uma Pemmaraju passes away at 64

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Groundbreaking Indian American news anchor and journalist Uma Pemmaraju has passed away at the age of 64. She was one of the original members on air at FOX News when the network first launched. She also spent time at Bloomberg covering business. Pemmaraju was a familiar face in local news markets like Boston where she anchored one of the highest rated news shows and won several Emmy awards. Her cause of death is not being reported at this time.

In New York, author Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage as he prepared to give a lecture at Chautauqua Institution. Witnesses say his attacker began punching or stabbing Rushdie. His condition is unknown at this time. The 75 year old’s book, “The Satanic Verses” has been banned in Iran since 1988 as many Muslims consider it blasphemous. Iran has put a 3 million dollar bounty on his head.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the nation should move away from restrictive measures such as quarantines and social distancing and focus on reducing severe disease from Covid-19. The agency no longer recommends staying at least 6 feet away from other people to reduce the risk of exposure — a shift from guidance that had been in place since the early days of the pandemic.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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US and India to hold military drills near the China-India border

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WASHINGTON DC (Diya TV) — The U.S. and India are preparing for mountain top drills near the Chinese border. It’s a move that’s sure to attract the attention of leaders in Beijing and comes during heightened tension between all the countries, especially after China recently launched missiles over Taiwan in a show of force. Last year’s joint high altitude exercise between the U.S. and India was in Alaska.

A top Pakistani militant who had a $3 million U.S. bounty on his head has been killed along with three others in Afghanistan. Abdul Wali, also known as Omar Khalid Khurasani, was killed in an explosion Sunday while traveling by car.

Diya TV was this year’s media sponsor at the Indiana India Business Council annual gala. This non-profit remains focused on generating economic growth, and strengthening ties between both countries. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Afghan man arrested over murders of four South Asian men in New Mexic

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Diya TV) — The Islamic community is breathing a sigh of relief after one of their own is now under arrest for the murders of four Muslim men. 51 year old Mohamed Syed is denying any involvement in the slayings and will face a judge later this week. Three of the victims are from Pakistan while the other is from Afghanistan. Authorities say Syed knew all the men but the exact motive is unclear at this time. Some outlets are reporting this could be fueled over issues in the Sunni and Shia Muslim community. 

Global outrage continues after the suicide of 30 year old Mandeep Kaur, who left India for New York, searching for a better life. Police say she ended her life after releasing a heart wrenching video, narrating details of torture at the hands of her husband who she claims abused her because she couldn’t have a son. Kaur leaves behind two young daughters. Her family in Indian is now trying to take custody of the children. 

Women’s tennis champ Serena Williams says she is preparing to wind down her stellar career. She has 23 grand slam championships. Williams implied she’s trying to play at the US Open and make it her final tournament later this month.  

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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